Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Tempeh Ceviche (VeganMoFo)

Another one of my favorite local restaurants is the Mexican eatery, El Zarape.  This is authentic Mexican food at its finest and although they have a wide array of meat-centric entrees, an entire section of their extensive menu is vegetarian.  ¡Ole!  I’ll definitely have to do an “On the Town” post about this joint (including their amazing margaritas!) in the future, but for now I am going to talk about one dish that was so tasty and unique I just had to recreate it at home, El Zarape’s, “Ceviche de Soya”, read: Tempeh Ceviche. 

From what I could tell by examining, and of course eating, El Zarape’s “Ceviche de Soya”, crumbled tempeh is marinated in a lime juice, cilantro and tomato mixture.  They then serve it with pinto beans on top of tostada shells.  Truly divine.  I must admit, I am no tempeh lover.  I have tried several recipes with the stuff but the flavor and texture always throw me.  I probably would not have ordered this dish at the restaurant had they not called it “Ceviche de Soya”.  I was prepared to get some sort of marinated tofu tostada.  Thank you, El Zarape for your creative verbiage and for opening my eyes to a tempeh dish I just can’t get enough of.  Here is my rendition…

8 oz package tempeh
1/3 cup fresh lime juice
1/3 cup cilantro, chopped
1/3 cup red onion, diced
2 tomatoes, diced
Fresh hot chilis or pickled jalapenos to taste
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt (or more to taste)
1/4 teaspoon lemon pepper
1 ½ cups pinto beans

Stove top steamer of some sort
Shallow mixing dish

1.  Cut tempeh in 8 equal pieces and steam 20-30 minutes (you can probably steam for less time if you aren’t so adverse to tempeh’s flavor like I am)
2.  Meanwhile, mix all the remaining ingredients together except the pinto beans 
3.  Once tempeh is done steaming, mash thoroughly with a fork and add to your marinade mixture

4.  Allow the tempeh to soak up the flavors for at least 30 minutes

5.  When you’re about  ready to serve, warm the pinto beans in a small pot or in the microwave
6.  Serve your ceviche on a large crispy lettuce leaf (iceberg, butter lettuce or cabbage would all work) or a tostada shell with warm pinto beans.  Add salsa and guacamole if you are so inclined (I was!).  

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